Those annoying, empty little awkward spaces that tend to stick out like a sore thumb the minute you walk into the room.
Or is that just me?
Either way, many of us have these kinds of empty corners, wall spaces, etc. that beg to be used.
You might be wondering how to make use of these spaces in your home without duplicating the look of the overflow room of your local amateur theatre playhouse!
It’s possible…just remember, “less is more”!
Thankfully, there are a lot of smart people who have found creative ways to fill their own empty spaces. Here are some of them, broken down by category. (Note: Create your own look using a combination of these strategies)
If you love the look of mid-century furniture, here’s a great tutorial by Sugar & Cloth’s Ashley Rose for plant stands that mimic mid-century style.
Don’t have the floor room? Then go vertical! Here’s a DIY for a hexagon hanging planter that would work well in a corner. Make several of them using different lengths of chain to create a wall of green.
Those empty corners, spaces between doors, and many vertical locations are the perfect place to store items you regularly need but which don’t have a permanent home.
Think floating shelves, bookcases, and even repurposed ladders.
Blogger Caitlin of The Merrythought, provides a DIY for this creative hanging table that makes use of the corner of her cousin’s room simply and beautifully.
Add a hammock
In addition to – or instead of – a hanging table, add a hammock or hanging chair. (Note the tiny little table for your favorite reads!)
A simple shelf over a radiator in a tight corner can be surprisingly versatile. Check out this dry bar in a tiny (sub 600 sq. ft) West Village apartment!
If you don’t have a radiator you can duplicate the look with a small table or cart.
If you have the DIY skills, check out the tutorial for this beautiful, functional banquette.
This simple yet functional mirror doesn’t have to be for the bedroom only; it would fit the area under a stairwell, in the corner of a living room…even an entryway.
Finally, tuck a basket of pillows and/or throw blankets into a corner to add comfort and visual interest. Alternatively, a small ladder or quilt stand can work well too.
Use more than one of these ideas to create a beautiful, functional space that suits your needs and your style!
Starting to daydream about dining under the stars? Make that dream a beautiful patio reality.
For many homeowners, the patio borders on magical: a place to relax, entertain, cook out and take a break from the day-to-day. It’s surrounded by vibrant hues, and a meal prepared in an outdoor kitchen somehow tastes better than anything that comes from its indoor counterpart.
Creating that perfect outdoor space for you and your family all starts with the literal foundation of this alfresco living room: the patio materials. Your selection can have a huge effect on the appearance, durability and functionality of your favorite home addition.
Before you commit to a type of patio, first envision the finished space. You probably have a good idea of the location and approximate size, so go grab a chair, take it outside, and position it in the intended spot. Then sit, and picture each material in your mind’s eye.
Your patio should not only complement your home and landscape, it should also enhance your lifestyle. If you have a large space to work with, consider incorporating a combination of paving materials; some of the best patio designs include two or more. Using multiple materials lets you integrate inlaid borders that can visually separate an area for lounging from the outdoor kitchen.
When you’ve dreamed up your ideal design, consider which materials would best bring it to life, in terms of both aesthetics and practical issues, such as maintenance requirements and cost.
Poured concrete is the patio material of choice for many homeowners because it’s structurally sound, inexpensive, and can even be stamped or dyed to mimic higher-end paving materials. It’s best suited for moderate to warm climates where frost heave is not a concern.
Planning tip: A standard concrete patio is four inches thick, but if you intend to construct something very heavy, such as a built-in fireplace, ask the contractor to reinforce that particular area before you pour.
Available in a variety of colors, bricks create a warm and attractive patio. This classic patio style typically costs more than one constructed from concrete, not just for the materials themselves, but also for labor — a significant consideration when every brick must be set by hand, leveled and grouted.
Should you decide to invest, you can design the space with any number of patterns, from a traditional running bond to something with added textural appeal like a boxed basket-weave or herringbone.
Planning tip: For patios, solid 1- or 2-inch-thick paving bricks are the best choice, either dry-laid or mortared in place. Be wary about extending your brick patio into deep shade, or else you’ll need to watch out for a slick surface after every rainfall.
Often manufactured from cement, cinder or stone, pavers top the DIY patio wish list for their low price and super simple installation — they’ll have you out there grilling in record time.
If you’re planning to lay your own patio, you’ll need a suitable substrate consisting of at least three inches of sand, and a permanent border, such as a poured concrete curb, to keep the pavers from shifting.
Planning tip: Pavers may be dry-laid by butting them tightly, or installed with uniform mortar joints. If the patio lies over utility lines, know that dry-laid pavers will be simpler to remove and replace if (or when) you need to access the utilities below.
The highly desirable look of stone comes with a steeper price tag — particularly if your pick isn’t locally sourced — but you can’t beat it for natural appeal. Flat, irregularly shaped stones offer a calm and meandering effect, while uniform-cut slabs of granite, travertine, slate, or bluestone can produce a formal patio that’s fitting for any backyard.
Planning tip: Natural stone is extremely durable for any patio, but if you happen to be planning one poolside, opt for a nonslip variety, such as coral stone.
Available in ceramic, glass, porcelain, terra cotta and natural stone, tile creates beautiful mosaic patio designs that are refreshingly cool underfoot in hot climates. Because tile is thin, it requires the installation of a concrete slab.
Planning tip: Even if you plan to lay the tile yourself, it’s a good idea to have a professional pour an even slab. Also note that not all tile is suitable for patio construction. To withstand weather, all your materials — tile, thinset, grout and sealer — must be labeled for exterior use.
Crushed stone, pea gravel and sand
If you’re not a fan of rock-solid patios, crushed stone, pea gravel or sand could be more your style. Both crushed stone and gravel offer a variety of colors and textures at low prices, and even sandy Zen gardens can double as patio areas.
You will, however, need to install a solid perimeter to keep the loose material from spreading outside its intended border.
Planning tip: It can be difficult to remove snow and fallen leaves when the seasons change, so consider your climate and environment carefully. To maintain a manicured look, count on refreshing the surface every few years.
OK, we’ll admit that summer 2020 has been a bit of a buzzkill so far: Between derailed travel plans and being forced to spend more time stuck inside (for the fourth month in a row, and counting), it’s not exactly the new decade we all dreamed of.
But we’re glass-half-full kind of people. And the silver lining of all this time at home means more time to decorate and transform our space into an oasis we’re almost glad to be cooped up in.
Ready to ditch the quarantine clutter and rid your home of those stale spring looks? We consulted with designers from coast to coast about the hottest home decor that’s trending right now. These five looks are sure to transform your space into one of those lush, tropical locales you’ll be missing this season, and make long days at a home feel a little sweeter.
1. Curved sofas
Nothing speaks to kicking back and relaxing quite like one of these oversize, curved couches.
“A curved couch is a symbol of comfort,” says Colin Haentjens, interior designer for The Knobs Company. “Without 90-degree corners, the only sharp parts of the couch are removed. And the shape is reminiscent of a bean-shaped swimming pool—so you can imagine diving right in to beat the heat.”https://www.realtor.com/myhome/homewidget
Finished furniture is out this season, and being replaced by something much more rustic and natural-looking.
“The use of raw materials isn’t new, but its resurgence this summer speaks to a desire to incorporate natural textures and materials into the home,” says design blogger Jaime Huffman of the Charleston Blonde. “Raw materials, like furniture made from live-edge wood, are a way to have one-of-a-kind items in your space, and they take on a timeless quality that will suit any design style.”
Shop the perfect live-edge piece for your home by browsing this collection on Etsy.
3. Floral wallpaper
Flowers aren’t just blooming in the garden this year, as more and more designers flock toward the floral wallpaper trend.
“From large and abstract to intricate and botanical—every kind of flower imaginable is showing up on walls,” says Huffman. “Done right, floral wallpaper can transform your space into one of color and creativity, and works great in small spaces like bathrooms or as an accent wall in a larger space.”
Canopy beds aren’t just for exotic rentals—they’ll also give an instant (and modern) boost to your current bedroom style.
“Canopy beds transform a bed into a private, tranquil space for rest, and create quite the atmosphere you want in a master bedroom,” says Huffman. “Especially for the summer season, more modern, simple-style canopy beds recall the look of a poolside cabana, turning the bedroom into a true oasis.”
Plus, there are a wide variety of canopy styles; you can choose from a more traditional, romantic four-poster look, or opt for something more modern and linear to fit your own individual taste.
While you might not be jet-setting to any islands this summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade your own island—that is, the one in your kitchen. While many kitchen designs include a stationary island, we love the added flexibility of these trending island carts.
“An island instantly transforms a kitchen, adding functionality, storage, and counter space,” says Huffman. “Add wheels, and the opportunities expand!”
An island on wheels adds extra value in a small kitchen space, so you can move it to where it’s needed most, she adds.
“After so many months spent inside, many people are looking for ways to refresh their space,” Huffman says. “And an island on wheels makes a huge impact without having to put in the planning and construction necessary for a stationary island.”
With so many of us abiding by stay-at-home orders, we’re probably not the only ones who have gotten more than a little bored with our home decor. Staring at the same artwork, armchair, or rug day in and day out might have you thinking it’s time to a major change-up.
Bu there’s good news: An interior overhaul doesn’t mean you have to buy brand-new stuff! There’s plenty you can do with the furnishings you already own.
Take an afternoon to assess your space and put some of the following ideas into practice. You can get creative on your own or enlist your family to help you with the brainstorming. Because they’re around, right?
That box full of papers you’ve been meaning to go through isn’t doing your decor—or mindset—any favors. Take some time out of your day to get rid of any extraneous clutter that’s lingering in your home.
“The most important and budget-friendly way to revamp your space is to get rid of unused or overused objects,” says Daniele Busca, creative director and brand ambassador of Scavolini USA in New York.
Experiment with a different layout
Put your spacial reasoning skills to the test and rearrange your furniture. If your sofa and love seat combo has been in the same L shape for as long as you can remember, consider having the two pieces face each other. Add an armchair and fun coffee table, and you have a whole new living space.
“I’d recommend buying furniture sliders so you can move things around without too much effort and no damage to your floors” says Joel Moss, broker with Warburg Realty Partnership in New York.
Let natural light in
Natural lighting can help you feel happier, healthier, and more productive. And who doesn’t need that right now?
Look at the room you spend the most time in. If the drapes are heavy, try swapping them out for ones in your house that are lighter in color and texture.
Busca also suggests removing the window treatment altogether if you have an interesting window frame that can stand on its own.
Moss says having natural light in her house is very important. With her former dining room receiving very little natural light, they rarely used it.
“We moved our dining table to an unused space by our sliding glass door. Now it overlooks our gardens and frog pond, gets great light, and we use it for everything,” says Moss.
Switch up your indoor lighting
While nothing beats natural lighting, having strategically placed lamps in a room can also do wonders for the look of your decor.
Swap out the table lamps throughout your home, or move a floor lamp to the other side of the sofa. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you come up with an exciting new layout.
Restyle your bookshelves
An organized bookshelf is one of our favorite decor updates. It doesn’t require any heavy lifting, it gives you time to admire and rediscover your collection—and it makes an impact without costing a dime.
Color coordinate your books, and alternate stacks of vertical and horizontal books. If you have some candles, picture frames, or other decorative objects, try interspersing them throughout.
“Placing lamps on shelves between books can give a space a more stylish look,” says Busca.
Create a nook to read or relax in
During uncertain times, getting lost in a book can be a welcome escape, so make that reading space a serene one. Make sure you have good lighting—either next to a window or from a lamp—pillows, a blanket, and a side table to place a hot cup of tea on.
By now you might be rethinking some of your art choices, like that abstract painting you picked up at a flea market. But there’s a fix for that.
Busca suggests switching up your artwork by hanging it on different walls and even in different rooms.
The same sort of swap can be done with wall mirrors, too.
Find new uses for a room
There are no rules that say the family room must serve only as the TV room. Maximize your space to do double or triple duty.
“We start each day with yoga and have the living room furniture arranged so we can easily push it back and have our own little yoga studio in front of the fire,” says Moss.
She says the bonus is being able to do yoga in front of the fireplace during the winter.
“The double bonus is that morning light floods that room,” Moss says. “What could be more perfect for sun salutations?”
Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree, thy placement is so vexing.
Picture this: You’ve recently moved to a new Washington, DC, apartment or snagged a new home for sale in Houston, TX, and your furniture is perfectly positioned: There’s just enough room for your swanky chesterfield sofa, club chair, and coffee table. But as the season changes and you swap out your pumpkin-spice candle with cranberry peppermint, a thought hits you like a sack of coal: There’s no room in your perfect living room for a Christmas tree.
Take a deep breath of that delightfully festive-smelling air. Just because there’s no space in your current configuration doesn’t mean you have to forgo a tree. And while there are tons of ideas out there for alternative Christmas trees — including twine trees and book pyramids — sometimes nothing beats the smell of a real Fraser fir. Although you may have to settle for something smaller than your dream 7-foot tree, you can still fit in a tree with a little creative thinking.
First things first: Safety. When considering your unconventional tree placement, make sure you’re not blocking a walkway or doorway. Ensure your tree (and those precariously placed glass ornaments) isn’t an obstruction to actually walking around your space. Next, remember that Santa does not appreciate tripping over an extension cord as he reaches for his milk and cookies. Finally, place that tree in an area that’s away from heating elements, including forced air, radiators, and fireplaces you use.
Safety concerns addressed? Good. Cue the holiday music, fire up that cranberry-peppermint candle, and consider one of these five ways to deck your halls and squeeze a tree into any space.
We love historic homes for their character, craftsman qualities and charm. Gorgeous windows, beautiful wood floors and detailed moldings. However, today many of us want a more modern lifestyle and furnishings to fit with our personal style. Mid-century modern furniture mixed with vintage rugs and antique pieces, original moldings and stain glass windows juxtaposed against contemporary art and clean lines.
With an eye towards accessibility we asked one of our own talented Elite designers Katie Storey who had recently designed a charming San Francisco home to share 5 tips that will help create that modern flair within a historic home.
Neutral Color Palette
Use a neutral color palette as your base. In this room, I used a neutral wall paint and simple bedding and fixtures to allow the bedroom to feel serene and light. With such beautiful windows I didn’t want to cover any of the detailed molding. The room seamlessly transitions from day to night.
Design with Architecture
Find an architectural detail that grabs you and design into it rather than remove it. Whether it’s stained glass windows, detailed trim, wood beam ceilings or herringbone floors, focus on the existing design elements and play them up. Pair with clean lines and don’t over do it.
Vignettes of Bold Color
Choose your color palette for the space, and stick to it. I like to use neutral, muted, earthy tones and bring in color through vignettes and accessories.
Balance Traditional with Contemporary
When designing multiple rooms, make sure to maintain a balance of traditional and contemporary throughout. I like to mix up furniture and rug styles to give it an eclectic feel. Too many of either style can end up feeling stale and/or scripted – like you just purchased an entire showroom. Diversifying patterns and textures allows for a more original feeling space. It’s your home after all, it should feel authentic.
Less is More
Don’t over design! Don’t be afraid to let a space breathe. Minimal can be just as effective and will allow the finer details of your furnishings to really shine through.
So if you’re feeling inspired and want to refresh and update your own home, then pop over to Katie Storey’s page to start your own room design project today. With Decorist you have fast, professional and affordable design at your finger tips. Happy Decorating!
No summer weekend (or fall or mild winter weekend for that matter) is complete without grilling a few awesome meals in the great outdoors. So why isn’t anyone ever enthusiastic about coming over to your place for some hot dogs, bean burgers, or even wagyu steaks? Could it be that your backyard barbecue decor is a little less than appetizing?
Well, look no further than these ideas to get the creative juices running. From hanging lights to a full-on bar cart, these simple tweaks will make your Labor Day or any old excuse for barbecuing all the more memorable.
Candles are fine, but unless you get an early start, you’ll be eating your grilled emu in near darkness. Instead, transform your backyard with better lighting, whether by spotlighting a few significant trees or adding solar-powered lanterns along the walkway. Lorena Canals, a home living expert in Hastings on Hudson, NY, likes Christmas lights for their price and ease of use.
“Just put in a few wooden posts if you don’t have a pergola to drape with them,” she suggests. Place the posts around the seating and grill area, and string twinkle lights in between. Or go old-school and hit up the hardware store for half a dozen Tiki torches. Insert them into the ground to light the way to your backyard, or arrange them to light up dark corners of your yard.
Add a prep place
There’s more to hosting a barbecue than tossing meat onto flames. Think dip mixing, salad tossing, and egg deviling. To this end, consider creating a flat surface that can be used for prepping side dishes and plating appetizers. It could be as simple as a couple of saw horses and a piece of plywood covered with a bright tapestry. Or invest in a built-in outdoor kitchen counter near the spot where you grill. Best of all: You won’t have to leave the party to do your prep work.
Define your backyard barbecue space with an outdoor rug. There are literally thousands of inexpensive options that are relatively easy to clean and maintain.
“Most backyard barbecue areas a have a cement, brick, or wood floor,” notes Canals. A rug adds instant warmth to cold flooring and makes your backyard look like an extension of your indoor style. A fire pit is another smart bonus outdoors.
“You can easily build your own with a DIY tutorial online or pick up one at your local home or garden center,” she says.
Or add a swing.
“A hanging chair or swing are two fun ways to inject a little energy into the party scene,” notes Jessica Sutton, lead curator with Dot & Bo. In particular, bold geometric patterns look great outside, like this black and white rug for $197.
Tap into the power of pallets
If you have a few extra wooden shipping pallets hanging around—or you know someone who does—you can get very creative, notes Canals.
“Pallets can be taken apart and made into the most perfect seating areas for your patio,” she says. Just toss on a few cushions—and you’re done. Or stand up two pallets and connect them with a slab of concrete to make a patio bar. Paint pallets in a coordinating color, install hooks on one side to hold bar towels, and then top it with a colorful set of melamine glasses on a tray.
Wheel in a bar cart
Your friends love you (really, they do!), but they aren’t coming to your backyard to watch you fiddle with marinated octopus on the grill. It’s all about the drinks—fresh mojitos, icy cold lemonade, rum punch, summer sangria, or plain ol’ beer. Add a bar cart or create an outdoor bar area off to the side, and stock it with an ice bucket, openers, and a serving tray, suggests Sutton. This bar cart from Dot & Bo is $272.
Arrange better seating
Your lawn chairs are most likely fine, but why not curate a look that’s way more inviting? Backyard barbecue furniture should have the same consideration as your indoor dinner parties. Think cozy and comfortable, and toss out a few outdoor cushions in bold colors and patterns that pop. Or take a cue from Sutton.
“One of my personal favorite arrangements is simple: Place an outdoor sofa facing two chairs to encourage conversation, and then add a side table in between the seating or use an ottoman,” she explains. A stool plays double duty, functioning as a table when topped with a tray or as additional seating when guests are over.
If you’ve got one, you probably know the head scratching question, “what in the world do I do with this space?” You’re not alone. Nooks, niches and alcoves are tricky areas to decorate, but there are great pros to having them. They add charm to your home while serving functional purposes when innovatively used. So let’s get down to business! Here are eight ways you can utilize those odd corners in your house.
It’s the classic reading nook, and, if you have the space for one, it’s definitely worth considering. They’re perfect for anyone that enjoys curling up with a good book or, if you’re like me, your laptop and Netflix (no shame.) All you need is a custom-sized cushion, a few pillows, lighting, and you’re ready to go.
Here’s one for all you mixologists: Transform your empty nook into a bar station. You can go the bar cart route or add a thin sideboard for more storage. You’ll have a well-stocked bar complete with blenders, cocktail mixers, bottle openers and all your bar essentials.
If you don’t have the space to dedicate to an entire home office, a corner nook can be your best friend. Install a shelf and you’ll have a space-friendly work station. For some extra charm, add a pop of color by painting the back wall and a couple decorative shelves.
What I love about this hideaway nook is it serves more than one purpose. It has desk space and a small lounge area for entertainment. By hanging curtains, you can easily close the nook off for a cleaner look. You can also add shelves and drawers for extra storage.
Dressers were made for nooks. They fit so perfectly in those tight spaces and provide additional storage for the things that don’t quite have a specific home. By adding wall art, lamps, clocks and photos, you can add some character to your nook.
Think of all the possibilities there are with a makeup nook. With one desk, stool and mirror you have your own makeup vanity. Add some drawers and you’ll have additional storage for your favorite beauty products. (You’ll catch me at the makeup counter weekly, if I ever get one of these for myself.)
Aside from storing holiday decorations, attics make great getaway spaces for both kids and adults. Transform your attic into an extra room for whatever you need: office, hangout area, bedroom or all three combined! For those nooks and crannies, add a floor bed with lots of throw pillows. It’s low to the ground, so the angular ceilings feel taller, and it gives you extra space for entertaining.
All it takes to transform an awkward corner into a conversation area is a set of chairs and a tiny table. Your guests will feel cozy, and you’ll feel happy that you filled that odd space.
Don’t get me wrong: White kitchens are cheerful, clean and classic — it’s no wonder why they’re so popular. But since white kitchens are everywhere, it’s easy to forget that there are other colors that can also look great in this space. Thinking about bucking the trend in your kitchen? Consider one of these options, from alternative neutrals to bright, bold hues.
You can’t go wrong with these versatile picks.
If you want a cool neutral that’ll add a bit of drama to your kitchen, look to charcoal. Bright accent colors — or even white, as seen in this kitchen designed by Brian Patrick Flynn — really pop against it.
A mix between gray and beige, greige is an incredibly versatile neutral for the kitchen that can complement both warm and cool colors. In this space designed by Tobi Fairley, greige cabinets bridge the gap between warmer brass elements and cooler marble accents.
A black kitchen may sound dreary, but it can actually be stunning if done right. Just take this gorgeous room that goes all in with black cabinets, a black vintage stove and a black-and-white tiled floor. If you’re not on board with an all-black kitchen, try adding one black element like a backsplash or a sink.
Add a touch of color without overpowering your space.
Hints of green in the stone countertops inspired the cabinet color in this country-style kitchen. The soft hue brings coziness to the space, yet still feels bright and fresh.
Particularly charming in a cottage- or farmhouse-style space, pale yellow adds a cheerful, sunny touch to a kitchen. Try it with robin’s egg blue or with neutrals, as seen in this kitchen designed by Sarah Richardson.
Navy is practically a neutral — it pairs beautifully with everything from tangerine to turqouise to chartreuse. In the HGTV Smart Home 2014 kitchen, navy cabinets are offset by a black-and-white basketweave backsplash for lots of eye-catching contrast.
Go all in with these daring shades.
Want to instantly energize your kitchen? Just add a vibrant shade of red. To keep it from feeling overwhelming, try contrasting it with a cool color, like the blue-gray Brian Patrick Flynn used here. If you’re not ready to commit to red cabinets or walls, incorporate the color in small doses with red countertop appliances, dish towels and other accessories.
Just a splash of this gorgeous green will make a big impact in your kitchen. In this design, Andrea Schumacher painted only the island, pulling a color from the floral wallpaper to keep the space cohesive. For an ultra-rich look, pair emerald with other jewel tones.
Orange is thought to stimulate the appetite, making it an ideal color choice for the kitchen. In this space by Jennifer Gilmer, an orange backsplash and zebrawood cabinets add warmth, keeping the contemporary design from feeling cold. Smaller orange accents, such as pendant lights or window treatments, can also liven up a kitchen.